BY JAMES HARPER
In the next couple of weeks, Daytona Beach will be advertising the sale of 53 parcels of land, the bulk in of them in Midtown.
Initially, Daytona Times readers were not going to learn about the properties up for sale, according to an employee in the city’s purchasing department.
“I normally advertise in the News Journal, not the Times. I’m required to advertise in a “newspaper of general circulation” and the News Journal meets that need nicely,” said city employee Joanne Flick in an email to the Daytona Times.
Public notice coming
However, an email from Daytona Beach Public Information Officer Susan Cerbone before the Times’ press deadline overruled Flick’s position.
“I believe the city will advertise in the Daytona Times. The RFP (request for proposal) will be issued in the next few weeks,” Cerbone said.
Parcels for sale will include seven on Whitehall Street, four lots on Wallace Street, seven lots on Cedar Street, three on South Street, and three on Fulton Street.
In a Times story published July 3, Daytona Beach’s Redevelopment Director Reed Berger said he would look into publishing a public notice advertisement in the Times regarding the parcels of land.
In the same article, Berger said “now that we have approval to dispose of property, we are in process of preparing a request for proposal for the buildable properties. … people can bid on the parcels when the public notice is published.”
Since Berger’s statement, the Times also has learned from Support Services Director Paul Wetzel that when the advertisement is run listing the actual properties up for sale, interested buyers “will be able to send a proposal to the city’s purchasing division.”
“All proposals will be reviewed and those meeting the requirements will be presented to the city manager for his review. If deemed acceptable to the city, any proposal will be sent to the city commission for their action,” Wetzel said.
No updated list
Cerbone clarified Wetzel’s statement adding; “Once responses are received, city staff will evaluate the responses and give them to the city manager for his decision as to whether there are any worthwhile proposals. If he says yes to any of those, they will go to the city commission for their approval/disapproval.”
Cerbone also said parcels of land “not disposed of through the RFP process will then go on the open market through a Realtor. A few, eight, are not buildable lots so the city will try to sell them to abutting property owners if they are not sold through the RFP process.”
The Times has attempted to get an updated list of the parcels of land up for sale since it ran the initial list in the June 20 edition of the Times, but with no success.
Location of lots
Cerbone would only say, “There is a requirement for property in CRA districts that the city advertise the parcels as a Request for Proposals. The RFP is being prepared by the Purchasing Department right now and should be issued in two to three weeks. Once it’s issued, responders will have 30 days to submit proposals on individual properties.”
As reported on June 20, only two properties on the original list are from the Main Street area and one from Downtown. The remaining 50 properties are located in or near Midtown, a predominantly Black section of the city.
Eight lots up for sale, according to a memo from Berger to City Manager Jim Chisholm, are “not buildable (and) should be offered to the adjacent property owners for purchase.”
Thirty-eight of the lots are residential and suitable to be redeveloped in accordance with the respective Community Redevelopment Area master plans.
The memo also said four lots are not buildable but can be combined together and sold as buildable lots.
Three lots are commercial to Midtown and suitable to be redeveloped in accordance to the Midtown Redevelopment Plan.